This post began in draft form in January 2014. It had been titled “(Not) Working on My Fitness”. Thankfully I have been able to change that.
I have these grand ideas, but then life gets in the way. I wanted to begin working out as soon as I was cleared by the doctor after having A&L, but that didn’t happen. Like I said, life got in the way.
I think of this picture, where the extremely fit woman says “what’s your excuse?”. Scroll down to the picture, then read her post. I have twins was my excuse, and still is really. When I first saw this picture on Facebook I was annoyed. It reminded me that I no longer lived in FL where I could be outside 355 out of 365 days. We were living in MA and it was already cold and miserable to me. A&L were only a few weeks old, so unless someone was gifting me a nanny or babysitter, I wasn’t able to find time to exercise, at least not at the level to obtain her body. Was this just an excuse? Maybe. My mom and dad were living within 20 minutes of our place. Honestly though, my body was still feeling funky after having major surgery. I tried to get out and walk when I could. But like I said, the weather in New England stinks. Where we were living, even the sidewalks had potholes. So it often wasn’t worth even going for a walk around the block. We lived right near this great beach walkway too. When it would snow they didn’t even shovel it all, so a stroller would be annoying to manage on it. Is weather a good excuse? Bringing A&L out in the windy autumn air didn’t seem like mother of the year material. Looking back makes me feel lazy because I question my excuses. I shouldn’t feel that way though. I did get out and walk when I could, even with the terrible weather and potholes. I would go to the mall or grocery and cruise around with my Snap-N-Go. Looking back, I would recommend to those in not so easy fitness weather areas to get a jogging stroller instead. At least this would handle the terrain better.
A windy walk in MA, maybe around Nov. 2013.
We didn’t have extra money or space to fit any exercise equipment. This was a major excuse for me. (We do have weights and a bench, but I didn’t get into it. Of course, having newborn twins doesn’t really make exercise seem possible. I had seriously maybe an hour to myself and I just wanted to relax.). A few people whose blogs I follow had treadmills and they were able to walk or begin running pretty soon after passing the 6 week postpartum mark. This made me feel even more depressed and sorry for myself. I started looking into DVDs I could do at home when the babies were sleeping, but I never followed through.
I didn’t physically begin feeling good until about 2 months postpartum. This would have been early December. It was frigid by then. Before winter officially began we had already had two snow falls. Winter defeated me. I began to strongly dislike our living situation, having been living in FL for the 8 years previous. I did attempt to go out running by myself a few times, once when it was definitely in the 30s. I was miserable.
We are back in FL now. When we left MA in March 2014, we left ahead of a snow storm. I wore my boots all the way until we hit North Carolina!
When we got here I walked every day, even if it was just around the block. The babies turned 6 months that month. My chances of looking like Maria by the time A&L were 8 months were not looking good, but they weren’t impossible. I got myself a jogging stroller and I began testing out my running ability. By summer 2014 I could run about a mile straight. I walked a few 3-4 mile routes and even went 7.5 miles with a friend of mine. It felt great to get out! I told myself I wouldn’t let the heat be an excuse. But then came summer, and it was so HOT out! I needed to get up earlier so I could get out before 7am to walk/run. Even at that time it’s a bucket of humidity out there. But, it had to be done. I couldn’t expect to lose anymore weight or loose skin if I didn’t attempt any fitness.
By the time A&L were 8.5 months, I was still not any closer to looking like Maria. I was not okay with that, yet I still made excuses. It’s too hot. I’m too tired. My knee hurts. That picture that once made me feel annoyed now motivated me. It haunted me when I was lazy. What was my excuse? Please remember that for a few months postpartum I didn’t feel well enough to go out and run again or lift heavy weights. But at this point it was over 8 months postpartum, and I live in the sunshine. It was time to get tougher on myself.
I had fitness goals. I drafted them in this post. Here they were in summer 2014:
*I will lose five pounds. This will put me back at my pre-pregnancy weight.
*I will tighten my belly skin, and muscles of course. I refuse to let people tell me you can’t lose the loose skin. I will.
*I will fit into my work wardrobe by the time I start back to work in August.
*I will have buff, strong arms.
*I will walk a minimum of three times a week.
*I will run a minimum of 1 time a week.
I did a few things to attempt to start a fit lifestyle. I went to a yoga class a few times. I checked out library books on fitness and weight training. We did a 7K walk. And, I began walking 4 miles at least once a week, even if it was too hot out.
October 2014, 5K
The only excuse I have for not keeping up with my fitness is that work in addition to being mom was a lot of time and energy. I’m a teacher and when I get home it’s go-go-go still. It seems like from September to February each year I lose my routine and get overwhelmed with the work/home balance.
I hide my weight well typically, through clothing choice or angle of the camera. I can see in this photo how my face had changed.
Come January 2015, I was struggling to find things that fit comfortably to wear to work. Everything was tight. I forced myself to clean out my closet and package up everything that didn’t fit. Not much was left, but it was a reality I needed to face. I’m 5-4 and I was weighing 140lbs. I didn’t look overweight to most people, but I felt overweight and unhealthy. I determined that my max weight is 130lbs for my height, to feel healthy and stay away from “the funk”.
My “cousin” had been posting on Facebook about this new routine she was trying called 21 Day Fix. I waited awhile to ask about it, until what I call “the funk” set in (a future post about this funk is in draft format). Fitness is the best for getting you out of a funk! I’m not one to spend a lot on myself unless it’s for shoes or an amazing item of clothing, so it took a lot for me to justify the cost of a Beachbody program. Even now, I try to talk myself out of getting the shakes, but I can’t!
Motivation has always been a problem for me. I want the results, and I want to lose the weight and tone, but I can easily talk myself out of a workout. This time was different (using Shakeology with 21 day fix). After the first week, I felt energized. I enjoyed the challenge of BeachBody. I was feeling better every day, and even though my scale wasn’t moving quickly, I was seeing smaller clothing beginning to fit me. I was finding it easier to get ready for work in the morning! I went from 140 to 130 in about 21 days, and within another 20 days or so I was at 120! Boom. That felt so good. I maintained this healthy lifestyle and routine until school started again in August 2016.
There is nothing better than feeling strong, like your best version of yourself.
As you can tell from my smile, my new fitness routine was working!
They call it (Shakeology/Beachbody fitness) a lifestyle product and not a diet product because it’s designed to improve your body, mood, energy, etc as you use it. My favorite part is that Shakeology helps me get rid of the bloat. When I stop my shakes and stop exercising, the bloat comes back easily. So that’s why I keep ordering. Shakeology is a critical part of my healthy lifestyle. My energy and mood are improved, and my cravings for junk decrease. I actually crave grapes and other fruits.
I love the benefits of Shakeology.
L: 38 weeks 2 days Sept. 2013 R: After 1 round of 21dayfix April 2015
So, why did I get off track again?? Well, it just seems like as a teacher the school year is a real challenge to stay focused on myself. Life becomes about my students and my own children. I’m back to the muffin top about a year later now, but thankfully most clothes are still fitting me, they just are not very flattering. If you have some motivation for staying on track, please let me know! I’m getting back into my routine come April. I just have to finish off this bag of mini eggs. Eeeeek!
Check out more of my fitness journey on my instagram @twinmomk
Peace & Love,